The Transformative Technology You’ll Wish You Discovered Sooner

By Dr. Bret Jacobson

Shortly after I made the switch from film to digital x-rays, I had the realization that I should have done it sooner. Today it’s hard to find a practice that still uses film. I had the same feeling when I made the switch from PVS to digital impression taking with my iTero® Intraoral Scanner. I recall thinking “I should have done this years ago – my life would have been so much easier!” Recently I’ve been using the new iTero® Element™ Intraoral Scanner. Let me tell you, if you’ve been waiting to make the move to digital, this is the time, and this is the scanner. Not only will it make your life easier, it will allow you to increase your level of care.

The new iTero Element Scanner is fast. In many instances, I’ve found the iTero Element Scanner has cut chair time in half. It takes my team just three to four minutes to do a full arch scan. Not only is it a far better experience for the patient, but it also removes the stress of taking an impression, because you don’t have all those worries that you would have with PVS.

With the iTero Element Scanner, the impression process is so fast most patients don’t know we took an impression until we’re done. “That was it?” is the most common response I get. Then I show the digital impression on the touch screen.  It’s great as I can move the image around with a finger, without having to deal with a mouse or keyboard. Plus, because the machine is so small, I can get it closer to the patient and they can see it better and see what I’m doing. The patients love the technology.

Dr. Jacobson with the iTero Element and Patient

In my practice, I do more restorative work than I do orthodontic treatment. However, I teach Invisalign® and I spend a good portion of the lecture talking about the iTero Scanner because it’s such an important part of the process. With Invisalign, the digital scan eliminates the taking of a PVS impression, which is where many of the errors are going to come from. In my practice I find that my aligners are fitting better than with PVS.  My cases are starting quicker, I have eliminated rejected impressions and my cases seem to track better with the improved fit.

Finally, for those who are worried about being stuck on a digital island, let me say this; when you’re buying technology, tech-support can be just as important as the technology itself. Since I got my iTero Element Scanner, I can tell you the company offers terrific support, top to bottom. If you’re even the slightest bit curious about digital impressions, I encourage you to please stop by their booth and ask to try out the new iTero Element Intraoral Scanner. It just might leave you wishing you’d done it sooner.

About Dr. Jacobson

Dr. Bret Jacobson has been practicing dentistry at his hometown practice in Federal Way, Washington, since 1998. He is an Invisalign® Preferred Provider and has been treating patients with the Invisalign system since 2012. Dr. Jacobson has been the clinical beta tester for the iTero® digital impression system since 2005.  He has published several articles and lectured both nationally and internationally on digital scanning technology.  He graduated with a B.A. in biology and a minor in chemistry from Western Washington University and earned his dental degree from Northwestern Dental School. He is alumni of, and a mentor for the Pankey Institute in Florida, and alumni of the Kois Center in Seattle. Dr. Jacobson is also a member of the American Dental Association, Washington State Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry.

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©2015 Align Technology, Inc.

This article was originally published Dec 2015/Greater New York Dental Meeting

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